Pipeline preview: Russell, Seager set to square off

Shortstops from 2012 Draft will meet when Double-A Chattanooga hosts Tennessee

Pipeline preview: Russell, Seager set to square off

Taken seven picks apart in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, shortstops Addison Russell and Corey Seager have proven to be two of the best and fastest-moving prep position players selected that June. The two have excelled in Double-A this season, despite being two of the youngest players in the Southern League.

Now, Russell and Seager, ranked Nos. 6 and 16 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, will close out the season facing each other in a five-game series, as Russell and Tennessee visit Seager and Chattanooga for Labor Day weekend. The first game of the series begins at 7:15 p.m. ET. on Thursday

Russell missed almost all of the first two months of the season due to a hamstring injury. He got back on the field in June, just in time to be included in the package the A's traded to the Cubs in exchange for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

After the trade, Russell was assigned to Tennessee. The Cubs' No. 3 prospect has flourished with the Smokies, hitting .301/.342/.563 with 12 home runs in 45 games.

Seager, the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect, began the season with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and earned a promotion to Chattanooga last month. He, too, made a quick adjustment to the Southern League and enters the series hitting .331/.355/.496 in 33 games with the Lookouts.

Russell and Seager won't be the only notable prospects on the field Thursday. Tennessee center fielder Albert Almora, the Cubs' No. 4 prospect and No. 39 on the Top 100, is hitting .256/.274/.397 with two home runs in 31 games since he was promoted from Class A Advanced Daytona. And Chattanooga outfielder Scott Schebler, the Dodgers' No. 9 prospect, leads the Southern League with 27 home runs in 130 games this season.

In addition to the showdown in Chattanooga, Thursday's Minor League schedule boasts a few pitchers ranked in the Top 100 who are scheduled to start, including Tyler Glasnow (No. 19), Kyle Freeland (No. 70) and Rafael Montero (No. 98). Fans can watch Montero and Triple-A Las Vegas visit Albuquerque and Joc Pederson, the Pacific Coast League's newly minted Rookie of the Year, on MiLB.TV at 8:35 p.m. ET.

Glasnow, the Pirates' No. 1 prospect, will be looking to extend his five-start winning streak when he takes the mound for Class A Advanced Bradenton at Charlotte at 6:30 p.m. ET. He has dominated hitters all season for Bradenton and enters Thursday with a record of 12-5 and a 1.67 ERA, the best mark in the Florida State League. Glasnow has struck out 148 batters in 118 1/3 innings and is set to lead all Pirates Minor Leaguers in strikeouts for the second year in a row.

Top prospect probables:
Chris Anderson (Dodgers' No. 5), Rancho Cucamonga vs. Inland Empire
Alec Asher (Rangers' No. 13), Frisco at Corpus Christi
Anthony DeSclafani (Marlins' No. 3), New Orleans vs. Memphis
Edwin Diaz (Mariners' No. 7), Clinton at Quad Cities
Buck Farmer (Tigers' No. 8), Toledo at Louisville
Freeland (Rockies' No. 4), Asheville vs. Hagerstown
Jarlin Garcia (Marlins' No. 12), Greensboro vs. Delmarva
Amir Garrett (Reds' No. 18), Dayton vs. Lansing
Glasnow (Pirates' No. 1), Bradenton at Charlotte
Luis Heredia (Pirates' No. 14), West Virginia at Lexington
Jason Hursh (Braves' No. 5), Mississippi at Huntsville
Brian Johnson (Red Sox's No. 10), Portland vs. Reading
Montero (Mets' No. 6), Las Vegas at Albuquerque
Mike Montgomery (Rays' No. 17), Durham at Norfolk
Tyler Pike (Mariners' No. 14), Jackson at Montgomery
Cody Reed (D-backs' No. 19), Missoula vs. Billings
Taylor Williams (Brewers' No. 13), Brevard County vs. Lakeland

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.